February 21, 2005
Chancellor Denton: 'I want to hear your aspirations
By Jim Burns
Chancellor Denice D. Denton's first week on the job provided
an early indication about the energy that she brings to the
UCSC's ninth chancellor spent long hours during her first
official week participating in a variety of introductory meetings
with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors. "I want
to hear your aspirations and goals, and I want to learn everything
I can about your programs," she told members of the Academic
Senate during one of those meetings. "UCSC is a wonderful
place, and I feel very privileged and honored to be here."
Chancellor Denton said her early impressions of the campus
have been very positive, underscoring her belief that diversity
and excellence are UCSC's twin strengths.
The campus also has a "propensity for interdisciplinarity
I have not encountered in other universities," she told
the faculty on Wednesday. She added that the gap between the
humanities and social sciences on one hand, and science and
engineering on the other, is sometimes referred to as the Grand
Canyon. "UC Santa Cruz can lead the way in how to build
a bridge across that Grand Canyon," she said.
In addition to capitalizing on opportunities, Denton added,
the campus must also address its challenges. She cited the need
for faculty and staff housing, more child care, and further
promotion of a family-friendly atmosphere as critical UCSC needs.
And it's imperative that the campus work "to ameliorate
the impact of UCSC growth on the community," she added,
in remarks at the senate meeting.
A day earlier, Chancellor Denton traveled to Sacramento to
participate in UC Day, the systemwide advocacy event at which
alumni and other UC friends meet with lawmakers in the state
capital. Denton received a warm welcome as the featured speaker
at the annual UCSC alumni Sacramento chapter dinner that brings
together area alumni, parents, and UCSC student interns from
UC Center in Sacramento. Also attending were alumni Senate and
Assembly fellows, as well as legislators.
On both ends of her first week were surprise welcomes to campus.
On her first day, Chancellor's Office staff greeted her with
a brief reception in their McHenry Library office. Near the
end of her first week, she was treated to a visit by children
from the campus's Children's Center. The children not only presented
the new chancellor with a bouquet of flowers and an oversized
Valentine's Day card, they stayed long enough to produce artwork
for Denton as she discussed everything from superheroes to science
with the excited youngsters.
Louise Donahue and Allison Garcia contributed to this article.
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